As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Egypt, and traffickers exploit victims from Egypt abroad. Egyptian children are vulnerable to sex trafficking and forced labor in domestic service, street begging, drug trafficking, and agricultural work. Traffickers, including some parents, force Egyptian children to beg in the streets of Cairo, Giza, and Alexandria or exploit girls in sex trafficking. NGOs reported lack of economic and educational opportunities are risk factors for parents to exploit their children, especially girls. Child sex tourism occurs primarily in Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor. Individuals from the Arabian Gulf, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates purchase Egyptian women and girls for “temporary” or “summer marriages” for the purpose of commercial sex, including cases of sex trafficking, as well as forced labor; these arrangements are often facilitated by the victims’ parents and marriage brokers, who profit from the transaction. Traffickers subject Egyptian men to forced labor in construction, agriculture, and low-paying service jobs in neighboring countries.
Traffickers subject men and women from South and Southeast Asia and East Africa to forced labor in domestic service, construction, cleaning, and begging. In 2017, observers reported an increase in West African migrant trafficking victims, although it was unclear if this was the result of increased victim identification or an actual increase in numbers. Foreign domestic workers—who are not covered under Egyptian labor laws—from Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka are highly vulnerable to forced labor, experiencing excessive working hours, confiscation of passports, withheld wages, denial of food and medical care, and physical and psychological abuse. Traffickers subject women and girls, including refugees and migrants, from Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East to sex trafficking in Egypt. In 2018, an international organization reported a new trend of Colombian nationals who are smuggled into Egypt to work in the entertainment industry; these individuals may be vulnerable to sex trafficking. Syrian refugees who have settled in Egypt remain increasingly vulnerable to exploitation, including forced child labor, sex trafficking, and transactional marriages of girls—which can lead to sexual exploitation, including sex trafficking, and forced labor. Irregular migrants and asylum-seekers from the Horn of Africa, who transit Egypt en route to Europe, are increasingly vulnerable to exploitation along this migration route.
From 2007 to 2017, criminal groups in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula subjected thousands of African migrants to forced labor and sexual servitude, smuggling, abduction, and extortion. According to victim testimonies collected by an Israeli NGO, between November 2015 and April 2016, Bedouin groups forced approximately 61 Sudanese asylum-seekers to work in agriculture, tree lumbering, and marijuana growing; these groups physically abused the victims, including beatings and deprivation of food and water, and extorted money from them for their release. International organizations based in Egypt observed the flow of migrants into the Sinai declined substantially in 2015, due in part to Egyptian military operations, and Israeli NGOs reported the flow of African migrants arriving in Israel from the Sinai stopped in 2017.